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10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree - Education - Nairaland

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10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:17am On Sep 06, 2014
To go, or not to go: that is the question facing
many graduates who are considering whether to
embark on a postgraduate degree. Reasons for
buckling down to some rigorous research can
vary – from hoping to stand out in the
competitive job market, to a pure love of
academia and perhaps a career therein.
Whatever the motivation, though, choosing the
right area of study can be a tricky, but
ultimately rewarding, process. If you’re feeling
particularly confused or just can’t make up your
mind, then this list of the 10 youngest students
to ever achieve a doctorate is guaranteed to
inspire you – or maybe kick-start your

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:20am On Sep 06, 2014
10. Akshay Venkatesh – 20
Image Source
Indian-Australian Akshay Venkatesh
distinguished himself at an early age. In 1993,
when he was 11 years old, he won a bronze
medal at the International Physics Olympiad in
Virginia. Venkatesh chose to switch his focus to
mathematics soon after taking home the bronze,
and he went on to win two more Olympiad
medals in the subject. He finished high school
when he was only 13 and went to the University
of Western Australia, graduating with first class
honors in Mathematics in 1997 – the youngest
student ever to do so.
Even then, Venkatesh didn’t pause for a breath,
and a PhD from Princeton University
consummated his academic success. At only 20
years old and with a doctorate under his belt,
the young scholar already had a solid position in
the world of academia. Since completing his PhD
in 2002, he has gone from holding a post-
doctorate position at MIT to becoming a Clay
Research Fellow and, most recently, a professor
at Stanford University.

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:24am On Sep 06, 2014
9. Erik Demaine – 20
Image Source
Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Erik Demaine took
a somewhat unconventional route when it came
to his education. When he was seven years old,
his father – an artist and sculptor – pulled him
out of school to travel around North America.
From the age of nine, Demaine basically home
schooled himself, and an early interest in
computers was his gateway into math.
At age 12, even though he didn’t have any
academic records or results, Demaine began
studying at Dalhousie University in Halifax,
Nova Scotia, going on to receive his bachelor’s
degree when he was just 14. He then set his
sights on a PhD, completing pioneering work in
computational origami at the University of
Waterloo before his 21st birthday.
Demaine, who in 2001 became MIT’s youngest
ever professor – at 20 – says, “It’s a pretty
awesome position to be able to think about
these basic mathematical truths and what’s
solvable and not solvable.” His work includes
computational origami, decoding an ancient
Incan language, and protein folding (which
crosses over into the field of biology).

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:28am On Sep 06, 2014
8. Charles Homer Haskins – 19

Charles Homer Haskins was only 19 when, in
1890, he was awarded his PhD in History from
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. After
teaching at Johns Hopkins, Haskins went on to
become a professor at Wisconsin University and
then Harvard University, and he helped set up a
pattern for graduate studies that is still in use
today. He is regarded as the first medieval
historian in the US and is particularly
remembered for his 1927 book The Renaissance
of the Twelfth Century as well as for his academic
work on the Norman institutions.
Haskins also played a role in the fate of nations.
President Woodrow Wilson made him a
member of an inquiry charged with resolving
territorial issues in the wake of World War I.
And Haskins was also part of the US delegation
at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, where he
presented a solution – which was ultimately
accepted – for dealing with the German state of

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:32am On Sep 06, 2014
7. Juliet Beni – 19
Image Source
Juliet Beni was a college senior at 15; and in
2012, when she was just 19 years old, she
received her PhD in Psychology from the
University of California, Riverside (UCR),
becoming the youngest student to do so in UCR
history. Linda Scott, a member of the
university’s graduate division for the past three
decades, says, “In my experience we have had
no one who even approaches that age.”
Beni hopes to become a medical doctor, an
ambition she has held since a young age. Self-
discipline, dedication and problem-solving
techniques served Beni well in her bid for a
doctorate, and anyone interested in getting a
PhD would probably do well to cultivate the
same kind of qualities. Perhaps most important
of all is Beni’s sheer determination and
persistence. Her advisor Robin DiMatteo says, “I
have never once seen her get discouraged or
fail to try to achieve a goal.”

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:35am On Sep 06, 2014
6. Sho Yano – 18
Image Source
Sho Yano started college when he was just nine
years old, after chalking up a score of 1,500 out
of 1,600 on his college SATs the year before.
Moreover, while experts on child prodigies say
it’s better for children as young as Yano was not
to go to college, there may be no other choice.
Yano’s mother says, “Some people really think
I’m [a] really pushy mom to prove that my son
is a gifted one. But that’s not the issue.
Because… if your child is going so fast and doing
so well enjoying his life, you cannot just let him
stop.” Yano certainly didn’t stop. He graduated
summa cum laude from Chicago’s Loyola
University when he was 12. And in 2009, aged 18,
he received his PhD in Molecular Genetics and
Cell Biology from the University of Chicago.
Completing this string of success, Yano achieved
his MD, also from the University of Chicago, by
the time he was 21 – earning him the nickname
“real-life Doogie Howser.”
“I have a goal,” Yano told CBS News in 2009.
“And I think the worst thing to do in life is fall

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:38am On Sep 06, 2014
5. Norbert Wiener – 17
Image Source
Although Norbert Wiener earned a bachelor’s
degree in Mathematics from Tufts College (now
Tufts University) when he was 14 years old in
1909, he didn’t immediately pursue a doctorate
in the same subject area. Instead, he studied
philosophy and zoology before returning to
math. In 1912, Wiener was 17 when he was
awarded his PhD in Mathematical Logic from
Harvard University. He held a job as a journalist
for a brief stint, and also worked on the
automation of anti-aircraft guns during World
War II, but he is best remembered for his
pioneering work in the field of cybernetics.
Cybernetics is concerned with the idea of
feedback and has consequences for societal
organization, philosophy, engineering, biology
and other fields. In Wiener’s own words, “To
live effectively is to live with adequate
information. Thus, communication and control
belong to the essence of man’s inner life, even
as they belong to his life in society.”

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:40am On Sep 06, 2014
ba3. low...


Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 8:44am On Sep 06, 2014


Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Oyetboy(m): 11:49am On Sep 06, 2014
osifred: Am happy for them. The system in Nigeria frustrate us so much that in our late twenties we are still very glad to be undergraduate students. The way forward for Nigerian education sector is largely in the hands of the private sector. One can only achieve a close feat in Nigeria if the person is within the private school system.
you've said it all!

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Dbestmax(m): 12:38pm On Sep 06, 2014
Interesting...y won't dey...wen its jst to write cams and u're in college....naija....waec jamb postume 1 must cast...


Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 1:57pm On Sep 06, 2014
4. Ruth Lawrence – 17
Image Source
In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Ruth Lawrence
graduated from Oxford University with a
bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. The next
year, she got a second degree, this time in
Physics, which was followed by a PhD in
Mathematics in 1989 when she was just 17. After
spending some time at Harvard as a junior
fellow and working at the University of
Michigan as an associate professor, Lawrence
moved to Israel. There, she became an associate
professor at the Hebrew University of
Although Lawrence has gained recognition for
her work in algebraic topology and knot theory,
she has hinted at a sense of regret over the
childhood years that were lost to academia and
has said that she will not put her child through
the same rigorous studies. “I was not in their
shoes,” says Lawrence of her parents. “I very
much appreciate the effort my father put in. I
am enormously grateful for what he did for me.
I can see now that being a parent is very
difficult.” Fortunately, most graduate students
won’t face the same challenges, pressures and
media attention Lawrence did.

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 2:01pm On Sep 06, 2014
3. Balamurali Ambati – 17
Image Source
Indian-American ophthalmologist and academic
Balamurali Ambati was doing calculus when he
was four years old and co-authored a research
book on AIDS when he was 11. At 13, he
completed his studies at New York University.
And in 1995, when he was 17, he graduated from
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City,
effectively becoming the world’s youngest
doctor (and a Guinness World Record holder).
Ambati completed all his medical training by the
age of 24, making him an anomaly in the medical
profession – as most doctors don’t finish their
instruction until their early to mid 30s.
Ambati is happy with his hard work, suggesting
that finishing his training early has given him
time for other life experiences. Clearly, the
proper motivation is key, and Ambati’s studies
have certainly paid off. He says he loves his
career and is very happy as an ophthalmologist.
“You see all kinds of diseases, you do exquisite
surgery, you see patients of all ages – in what
other field could I be a transplant surgeon, a
prosthetic surgeon, an emergency surgeon, do
international and overseas work? I conduct
wonderful research as well. It’s really a very
nice combination.”

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 2:07pm On Sep 06, 2014
2. Kim Ung-Yong – 15
Image Source
Imagine being a guest student at a university
when you’re three years old and being invited to
do research for NASA when you’re eight. It’s
pretty hard to wrap your mind around. Yet
South Korean former child prodigy Kim Ung-
Yong doesn’t have to imagine; for him, it was a
reality. Still, Kim’s 10 years at NASA weren’t
exactly happy ones. He says, “I led my life like a
machine – I woke up, solved the daily assigned
equation, ate, slept, and so forth. I really didn’t
know what I was doing, and I was lonely and
had no friends.” He also missed his mother.
Although Kim, born in 1963, earned his PhD at
the astoundingly young age of 15 and appeared
in the Guinness Book of World Records for
having the “Highest IQ,” he is quick to point out
that academic success is not always the measure
of a person. “Society should not judge anyone
with unilateral standards – everyone has
different learning levels, hopes, talents, and
dreams and we should respect that.”
Kim, who currently works at Chungbuk National
University, says he’s doing what he really wants
to do. He’s happy, and in the end, that’s what
really counts.

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Nobody: 2:12pm On Sep 06, 2014
1. Karl Witte – 13

Born in 1800, Karl Witte was the son of an
educational author who is said to have put his
hypotheses to work on his son. His father’s
methods appear to have been successful,
though. When he was nine, Witte could speak
five languages; and incredibly, this prodigy was
awarded his doctorate degree in Philosophy
from the University of Giessen when he was all
of 13 years old – another Guinness World
Record, and one that still stands today.
Witte might have ultimately become a lawyer,
and he apparently traveled to Italy in 1818 to
further this goal, but his love of books pulled
him in a different direction. Witte became
especially enamored with Dante’s poems and
eventually became a recognized Dante scholar.
If nothing else, these 10 inspiring intellectuals
prove that hard work and focus can lead the
way to a successful – and hopefully happy –
academic life.

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Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by ignis(f): 2:19pm On Sep 06, 2014
Definitely not here in Nigeria.
In Nigeria at 20, one is still struggling with JAMB and post UME. ...
All our professors are grey haired. ..


Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Vstuffs(m): 2:24pm On Sep 06, 2014
Op...u forget to add my name......at age 22..I will have a phd degree


Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by KillerBeauty(f): 2:24pm On Sep 06, 2014
List of Bookish people
Re: 10 Youngest People Ever To Achieve A Doctorate Degree by Donjcco(m): 2:32pm On Sep 06, 2014

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